The choice between sweet or salty, for me, is an easy one. I choose salt every time. Call me crazy, but I’d rather have more dinner for dessert, than dessert. So when I first tasted savory shortbread, made from a Barefoot Contessa recipe before I had gone gluten-free, I was instantly deeply, madly, passionately in love. They have the texture of a buttery, shortbread cookie, with the taste of a cracker. They are the perfect nibble with a cocktail, but I think they are even better as part of a cheese plate served for dessert.
I’d been mourning their loss since my celiac diagnoses, and throughout the past couple of years I half-heartedly tried to recreate them, each time making cookies worthy of the New York Times Magazine’s “Meh List.” But today, as I was flipping through Karen Morgan’s cookbook (Blackbird Bakery), I decided to make her savory Tapenade Tomato Tart for book club. And guess what? The leftover tart dough, a pate brisee made with a touch of goat butter, made the most amazing, savory shortbread cookies I had ever tasted. Like ever. Incidentally, I don’t think the tart will be half bad either.
I chose to make them with rosemary, Parmesan cheese and sea salt, however they would be smashing with blue cheese & walnuts as well. If you like pine nuts (I absolutely do not), then try swapping them for the almonds in the recipe featured below.
Gluten-Free Goat Butter Shortbread
- 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons millet flour
- 1/4 cup tapioca flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons sorghum flour
- 2 tablespoons sweet rice flour
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (or guar gum)
- pinch of sea salt
- 2 teaspoons minced, fresh rosemary
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons cold goat butter, diced
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons slivered almonds
- sea salt, to taste
- Whiz the dry ingredients, plus the rosemary and cheese together in a food processor fitted with a steel-blade attachment. Add the goat butter, and regular butter and pulse until the mixture becomes sandy. Carefully drizzle the egg into the mixture while pulsing just until the dough turns on itself. Remove dough from processor, shape into a log, wrap with plastic and freeze for 30 minutes, or until firm.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Cut the log into 1/4 inch slices and set on the prepared sheet, about 1/2 inch apart. Press a couple of slivered almonds into each cookie and lightly sprinkle the tops with sea salt. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the cookies are lightly golden brown.
- Let cool on the sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
Article Courtesy: Alison Needham